Delhi zoo looks at better upkeep - with its own revenueFebruary 10th, 2012 - 5:39 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Feb 10 (IANS) There is good news for the Delhi zoo that attracts nearly 8,000 visitors every weekend and houses over 1,000 varieties of animals and birds, but suffers from poor maintenance. For the first time in its over 50-year-history, it has been allowed to spend the revenue it generates.
The union finance ministry has allowed the zoo to spend on its upkeep the revenue generated by the sale of tickets. The ministry of environment and forests has been pitching for it for many years.
“This is the first time that the finance ministry has allowed the National Zoological Park, Delhi, to use the revenue for its upkeep. The ministry has allowed the zoo authorities to spend the Rs.3 crore estimated revenue to be generated by the sale of tickets this year,” Jagdish Kishwan, additional director general of forests, environment ministry, told IANS.
The Delhi zoo comes under the central government. Earlier its revenues would go to the finance ministry and it would be allotted funds by the central government.
Kishwan said the money from its revenue would now be spent on maintenance of the Delhi zoo, spread over an area of 240 acres and housing over 1,000 varieties of mammals, reptiles and avian species. It is also home to many endangered species in India.
Set up in 1959 by West German zoo specialist Carl Hagenbeck, the Delhi zoo attracts over 8,000 visitors during weekends. An adult is charged Rs.20 per visit and children Rs.10 each while foreigners have to shell out Rs.100 each.
Explaining the plans of spending the money, zoo director A.K. Agnihotri said: “The maintenance of the zoo in the last 50 years has gone down due to a money crunch. Last year the Delhi zoo was flooded in the monsoon due to waterlogging caused by poor drainage system.”
“We will spend the money for upgrading infrastructure like roads, buildings, drainage system and many other things during the year,” Agnihotri told IANS.
He said that the Rs.176 crore master plan cleared by the Central Zoo Authority last year will change the image of the Delhi zoo in the coming years.
To be implemented in the next 20 years, the master plan aims to provide more space to the animals, bring about infrastructural improvements and make the place more educational for the visitors.
“We plan to have a butterfly park, an insectarium and an aquarium. There is also a plan to bring in different themes like peninsular India, central Indian highlands and Himalayan foothills,” he said.
“As per the plan, visitors to the zoo will also be able to enjoy a walk-through aviary and a rainforest region. The idea is to provide a real-life experience to visitors. Better signages and information kiosks are also part of the plan,” he added.
(Richa Sharma can be contacted at email@example.com)
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